Last week Olivia Munn spoke out, saying she flagged 20th Century Fox that an actor she worked with in “The Predator” is a registered sex offender who tried to entice a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship on the internet.
The studio deleted the scene, but Munn has since been praised on social media and “chastised” by studio personnel for refusing to keep quiet. Now, the victim of the abuse has come forward, thanking the actress for her support.
Identified previously only as “Jane Doe,” Paige Carnes, now 24, said Thursday she was ready to speak out.
“My purpose in making this statement is to reclaim my identity,” she told the Los Angeles Times in a statement. “I was not able to speak for myself when I was 14. The consequences of this abuse are profound and permanent for some. … Your abuse does not define you. With support from others and strength from within, you can overcome the label of victim and reclaim your identity.”
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Fox deleted the scene from “The Predator” that featured actor Steven Wilder Striegel – a longtime friend of “Predator” director Shane Black – but Munn says she was shunned by her co-stars in the aftermath, particularly at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Black received a standing ovation and she was ditched during scheduled group interviews about the film.
“It’s a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be sitting here with the rest of the cast,” Munn told The Hollywood Reporter. “I do feel like I’ve been treated by some people that I’m the one who went to jail or I’m the one that put this guy on set.”
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On Thursday, Carnes thanked Munn for taking action. “She spoke up for me,” said Carnes. “She took a stance for me. In turn she stood for all who have suffered like I have. To be acknowledged by a stranger, on a public platform about this issue is incredibly empowering. The positive feedback from social media towards Olivia Munn is uplifting and feels incredibly supportive for me personally.”
She continued, “Support can come in many forms. Sometimes all it takes is one person speaking up for you, acknowledging your worth as a human being. I am extremely fortunate to have a Father and Mother that love me unconditionally. My Father has supported me in my healing and growth in ways I cannot thank him enough for.”
Munn reposted Carnes’ statement on Twitter, calling the young woman brave.
“Dear Paige, your bravery and strength by stepping out from behind the Jane Doe title and ‘reclaiming your identity’ is incredibly awe-inspiring,” Munn wrote. “Without a doubt, by stepping forward today with such eloquence, you have inspired so many other survivors. THANK YOU for your courage and fearlessness.”
In emails to the Los Angeles Times, which broke the story, Striegel described the victim as one of his “distant relatives” and said in an attempt to boost her self-esteem, he “made the very bad judgement call of telling her in these emails that she was attractive, and sexy, and not a failure, etc.”
But, the Times found, a March 2009 arrest warrant affidavit alleges that physical contact included “kissing, touching Doe’s breast over her clothing, rubbing her legs and stroking her neck” on several occasions.
Over the weekend, Munn told THR that Black has not spoken to her since the scene was deleted. The director has frequently cast Striegel in his films, including 2013’s “Iron Man 3” and 2016’s “The Nice Guys.”
Black has since stated he was “misled by a friend” he had been led to believe deserved a second chance.